A REAL SCHOOL of witchcraft and wizardry in Austria has seen applications for its courses go through the roof in the wake of publication of the final Harry Potter book.
The Hexenschule, which is high in the mountains near Klagenfurt, is open to anyone of any age, from children to adults. Students can attend day classes, but most study from home, receiving materials and tests for their courses via the post.
The school offers six-term courses in what it describes as "all things related to witchcraft and wizardry by scientific methods". Students can study astrology, magic, the history of magic, meditation and divination and put theory into practice, preparing potions, making talismans and performing rituals.
At the end of their studies, they earn a "Veneficus certificate" attesting to their magical skills.
Staff at Austria's answer to Hogwarts claim its telephones have not stopped ringing since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Headteacher and Grand Wizard Dakaneth - known in the "muggle" world as Andreas Starchel - said: "When my fellow warlocks and witches and I opened the Hexenschule in 2003, the world's press scoffed. But the Harry Potter series has shown how hugely interesting the subject is, and business is booming.
"We are planning a new whole range of subjects for the upcoming term a" * www.hexenschule.eu.